By edort on Dec 10, 2009
Today Sun announced the general availability of Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 6 and GlassFish v3. As many of you know, Java EE 5 made it significantly easier to develop web and enterprise applications. However, Java EE 6 pushes the usability envelope even further, adding ease of use improvements in many areas of the platform. For example, you can now use annotations to define web components such as servlets and servlet filters. In addition, Java EE application packaging requirements are much simpler. For example, you can add an enterprise bean directly to a web archive (WAR) file. You no longer need to package an enterprise bean in a Java archive (JAR) file and then put the JAR file in an enterprise archive (EAR) file.
Beyond those improvements, Java EE 6 adds many new features that make the platform more flexible and extensible. Java EE 6 introduces the concept of profiles, configurations of the platform that are designed for specific classes of applications. The first of these profiles, the Web Profile, is now available. It offers a subset of the Java EE platform designed for web application development.
On the extensibility front, Java EE 6 includes more extensibility points and more service provider interfaces than ever before. This allows you to plug in technologies — even frameworks — in your Java EE 6 implementations in a standard way. And with new features such as web fragments, Java EE 6 modularizes deployment descriptors, something that enables web frameworks to self-register, making it easy to incorporate and configure them in an application.
GlassFish v3 is a lightweight, flexible, and open-source application server that is the reference implementation for Java EE 6. But it's much more than that. It also offers a wide range of new productivity features, such as a modular runtime based on OSGi, that makes for extremely fast startup, efficient memory use, and runtime performance. GlassFish v3 also supports a deploy-on-save feature, such that when you update an application and save the changes in an enabled IDE such as NetBeans 6.8, the application is automatically redeployed. Many other enhancements, such as native support for scripting languages and frameworks like JRuby on Rails, make GlassFish v3 an ideal application server for web and enterprise applications.